Tablet users are educated, employed, and earning money but are not necessarily young, according to new data.

At this point, 11 percent of Americans have a tablet device and 77 percent of them use it daily. Approximately 46 percent are in the 30 to 49 age bracket, however, and they are serious about their news, according to an infographic produced by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and The Economist Group.

Of the 1,200 tablet owners polled by Pew, 53 percent use their device to access news every day. Getting news is actually almost as popular as email, at 54 percent compared to 53 percent, and the average user spends about 90 minutes catching up on the day’s events.

It’s not just quick bursts of breaking news users are reading, however. About 42 percent read in-depth articles on their tablets, but despite social-networking linkups at every turn, just 16 percent share what they’re reading on those services. Most stick to a small number of recognized sources, though 33 percent said they have branched out to new publications on their tablets.

Surprisingly, apps have not taken over. About 21 percent of people mainly access news via apps, but 40 percent primarily use the browser. About 31 percent use both equally.

Who are these people? About 51 percent are college grads, 53 percent earn more than $75,000 per year, and 62 percent have full-time jobs. While most are between 30 and 50, 22 percent are between 18 and 29 and 32 percent are over 50.

Pew found that 81 percent are using the iPad, bolstering recent reports that suggest the iPad will dominate the market for many years to come. But Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire hits the market next month, which could take a bite out of the market for cheaper tablets.

For more, see the infographic below.

Click for ginormous chart:

Most Tablet Users Are Educated, Employed, Not Young
The Tablet Revolution–A PEJ Infographic

Category: Consumer Spending, Technology, Web/Tech

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16 Responses to “Most Tablet Users Are Educated, Employed, Not Young”

  1. Julia Chestnut says:

    I find this extremely interesting. In much of publishing, there is currently a wild debate taking place about the future of the word – it’s not just news. But in my corner of the universe, management are convinced that the iphone/blackberry is the medium they will be using to convey news in the future. I keep hearing/reading it at every turn! There is a lot of conversation about what that means for deeper content, and how that will drive how headlines and other “catchers” are constructed and how the information is parsed.

    But it sounds from this material like tablets might win out as the medium of choice, and it isn’t difficult to see why if you’ve ever tried to read on those damn tiny blackberry screens. It interests me that all the noise I hear about electronic delivery doesn’t talk about tablets, it talks about iphones. I realize that this is a smaller segment of the market than the smart phone market, I just wonder what the Kindle Fire will do to that assumption and how much news the average smart-phone owner is consuming on the phone. There may be a better demographic match between the hard core news customer and pad ownership.

    Interestingly, another group that has taken to the pad like wildfire are adaptive technology users and therapists. As it turns out, the ipad is absolutely PERFECT for adaptive communication and as a flexible tool for things like speech language pathology. That crowd is very excited about the possibilities, and the applications available are already pretty impressive.

  2. mathman says:

    (in my Forrest Gump voice) That’s odd: the tablet i’m using has lines on every page, doesn’t cost that much, doesn’t run by batteries and if i lose it, so what?

    Now i’m gunna go load up the buckboard with fahrwood ‘cuz it’s gettin’ a might chillay an’ air callin’ fer snow. C’mon Bessie, giddap!

    Nice to see judges and D.A.s resisting the pressure to arrest the protestors on “new” curfew rules made up by governors. i’m glad there are still some sane people in positions of power.

    Progressive realism: (or “What happened to the Democrats?”)

    3 signs of where we are:

    all this due to the fact that housing is still going nowhere because we never fixed the underlying financial problems, mortgages are now hard to get for ordinary joes and janes, and who knows if the paper is for real. It’s not going to get any better if hiring and wages are frozen.

  3. Greg0658 says:

    in an earlier post I may misunderstand the Apple product line ie: iPod iPhone iPad iTablet .. maybe iPad iTablet has nothing to do with diagonal screensize (or other features) and are 1 in the same?

  4. theexpertisin says:

    Superb article in every respect.

    Every day on this site, I learn something that is informative and thought-provoking.

  5. NoKidding says:

    As soon as the big media organizations at which this data is targeted take action, the stupidity, repetitiveness and partisan political blather that they bring will drive the long-article-reading tabletiers off into some new corner of the connected world.

    One liberal blog, one conservative blog and a links-only MSM feed are the way to go for news.

  6. DSS10 says:

    Most of the Apps that are designed for tablets and phones either lack the ability to access the full content of a site ( the NYT iphone app) or are hopelessly over engineered/designed to the point that they are annoying (sideways scrolling anyone). The strength of a tablet is the ability to have “instant on” web access and quick navigation within a non flash web site. I think that when you look at some of the better aggregation web sites ( or ) for long form content that they are both simple in their layout and that they link to the print versions of the of articles to avoid the visual ad trash of the of the current state of the standard on-line news sites (I hate the washington post’s site). If you decide to develop an app for TBP, I hope that you go the simple route……..

  7. leeward says:

    Pew offers great insights. Looking farther down the road, display technology is going to leap a few times and eventually, a viable version of a foldout read will change interactive design for content consumption. So much of what we hear in today’s discussion are about how to get people to pay for content. At some point after some big changes, the conversation will go back to ad supported formats that work with newer platforms that cater to the changing demand. It’s all about value delivery and tablets and some apps look new and cool but they have a ways to go before mass cooperation is restored(both in terms of DSS10′s comment and in terms of offering the content in ways that are truly based on individual user needs). Just getting the latest and greatest gadget and mixing that with backward looking regulatory/market solutions are just not going to get us to a truly digital tomorrow. But the tablets still seem very cool today.

  8. Greg0658 says:

    ps – my 3 devices from another persuasion – that do what all those i# > have real buttons, keyboards & a screen .. call me old fashioned or _ … I might see a tablet in my future for reading purposes only (generally) especially if I turned commuter (somebody drives other than me)

  9. Through the Looking Glass says:

    Tablets are new. The kids /teenagers are just figuring out you can use them to text in class with a “teacher key” to toggle over to what is being studied. When more figure this out they will take off like Justin Bieber.

    PS:I like the Bieber, unique texture to his voice and a “good kid” role model. Teens I know think he’s too homogenized milktoasty to follow and Lil Wayne rules. White kids acting black, what up wid dat?

  10. tnoll says:

    Everyone on my Mac user group list where I posted this are wondering why it seems no one under 18 owns one . . . especially when they are used in education extensively and my 4 year old nephew has one.

  11. Bob A says:

    Because these are the people who can afford to pay too much for something they don’t really need.

    Most people just can’t afford another device that doesn’t do anything they can’t already do on the device they really aren’t willing to do without (laptop).

    But with widely available high quality Android tablets becoming available for around $200 that’s gonna change. If Apple doesn’t address this market with a less expensive alternative to what they currently offer they’re going to fall behind. Just like they have already fallen behind in smartphones.

    Most people realize that 90% of what they’re gonna do on a tablet is use a browser, read books or run apps. Apple doesn’t have an advantage over Android in any category. And everybody who’s purchased and Android phone already knows how to use Android and is probably never gonna by an Iphone or Ipad.

  12. Joe Friday says:

    BR: “Pew found that 81 percent are using the iPad, bolstering recent reports that suggest the iPad will dominate the market for many years to come.


    Tablets with an Apple OS may be what people are currently using, but as I recently posted, what consumers stated by survey is that they overwhelmingly WANT to use tablets with a Windows OS. Not to mention that technology-wise, Apple OS tablets have consistently been playing catch-up with Android OS tablets.

  13. gms777 says:

    My guesses —

    In 5 years 90% of households will have at least one tablet.

    In 10 years 90% of households will have multiple tablets. (Schools will hugely drive this. Goodbye kids looking like sherpas slogging to school.)

    And in, say, 30-50 years, only about 10 % of households will have more than 10 books, i.e. paper books. Books will be pure status objects…coffee table Bibles, beautiful coffee table picture books, die-cut children’s books. (Already you can hardly get used book stores to buy books you want to sell.)

    The day we have another oil price shock will be when scads of magazines and books vanish…the cost of paper, ink, transportation will make retail prices unsustainable. Already newsstands (“What was a newsstand, grandpa?) and bookstores are vanishing, and bookstores are morphing into pay-as-you-go lecture hall/coffee shops. Or fancy used book stores, the equivalent of antique stores. The prices of first-editions of classics will skyrocket.

    There will always be paper media. My guess is that the stuff that will flourish the most will be free paper media–weekly shoppers, alternative weeklies, custom media produced for Fortune 500 companies for valued customers, as well as very high end books, say, specially produced limited-run versions of famous books containing lavish artwork and multimedia add-ons.

    I say all this coming from a print media background. I love that paper stuff, but I spend 90% of my time with digital.

  14. CuriousTech says:

    Definitely thought provoking. A desktop or even laptop doesn’t really work as a casual or portable reading medium, and TV can be less convenient in many situations, and takes time. We finally have the newspaper/book/magazine killer we’ve wanted, just like that flat gizmo they were always using in Star Trek, which brings up a lot more room for uses very soon. Schools have already found a viable use for them.

    My cheapest $80 tablet is used as a Smart Alarm Clock mounted to the headboard with PC 2.1 speakers. Better alarm, IM, weather, email, stocks, rooted and networked to the PC for VNC and such. But it’s bad as a browser, so it’s not really part of most statistics that count browsing as existing.

    We’ve seen so much technology come and go, but I think this one will stick for quite a while.

  15. Greg0658 says:

    definitely thought provoking … “can I do it till I go blind?” .. isn’t about sight / its desire.
    3D is so much better than 2D :-)-

    (should i – wtf :-)

  16. ToNYC says:

    An iPad glued to me,
    is not to be.